Monday, May 2, 2011

It Wasn't a "Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead!" Moment for Me

On 9/11, I worked at the Newseum, 1/2 mile from the Pentagon. I was standing at my desk wondering why I couldn't get my husband on the phone to tell him that I was ever so happy he wasn't a news photographer any more after watching the morning coverage of the two planes strike the towers in NY, when this large billowing smoke suddenly went up over the Pentagon. I hung up as my co-worker's daughter, who worked for Wolf Blitzer, got through to tell her the Pentagon got attacked. Then we all eerily went to the corner office and sat watching, waiting for a plane to hit the Capitol. Our VP came and dismissed us down 23 flights of stairs and out into the streets to find our ways home. I guess it was safer than being on the flight route into National Airport... My friend Jennie offered me a ride to her parents' house. It took us 4 hours to go 4 miles. And another five years before I didn't instantly cry and hide under a table every time I heard a fighter jet flyover anywhere.

For the 1-year anniversary, I worked for Arlington County who were the Pentagon Incident Command team. They were amazing officials. But watching fire fighters break down on camera during interviews that I arranged and having to step in to give them a moment... that officially ended my interest in public relations.

I don't know how I feel about Bin Laden's death. Tactically and politically I know it's a huge deal. But I felt no joy. I felt no justice. To all of the men and women who continue to do their duty in the armed forces, I am forever grateful for the sacrifices you and your family make on a daily basis. You are someone's son, daughter, father, mother, brother, lover. You are incredibly important to me and my family.

But in my brain, I don't know why we value American lives more than the lives of other people in other countries. This war isn't being fought in our faces. The real violence we saw on 9/11 was horrific. But the people in the middle east have it in their faces every moment of every day way more than the last 10 years because of the group Bin Laden organized and the violence they carry out. And yet, the focus in the news is on us. How we feel. It's just very confusing to me.

So I guess I always come back to my favorite episode of West Wing.

I guess I have something to think about on my swim today. Cause there's no way I'm running on this heel. If it's still sore next week when MacTroll gets home, I'll head into the free sports medicine clinic at Carle. But for right now, RICE sounds pretty good.


Lauren Storms said...

I love your blog Dana, it is so intelligently written, and what you say is so true. Especially the way Americans due value their own lives and happiness over everyone else's.

Lauren Storms said...

Ugh bad value not due...ugh pregnancy BRAIN!